Can Ronda Rousey Establish Women’s MMA in the UFC? If So, It Will Likely Be Without Cyborg

November 17, 2012
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Ronda RouseyNow that the cat is out of the bag and Ronda Rousey has been publicly confirmed as signing with the UFC, the questions begin to swirl around who and when she will make her Octagon debut.

At this point in time, there is no answer to either of those questions.

At this point in time, Ronda Rousey is the sole female fighter in the UFC.

One thing UFC president Dana White – who confirmed Rousey’s signing on Friday – is fairly sure of is who Rousey is not likely to fight in her Octagon debut… Cris Cyborg.

“It’s become abundantly clear to me that Cyborg does not want to fight her,” said White in an interview with Fuel TV following Friday’s UFC 154 weigh-ins in Montreal.

That he isn’t likely able to put that fight together hasn’t deterred White from taking a chance on women’s MMA, something that just a couple years ago, he didn’t think was ever likely to happen.

White always believed that the women’s divisions just weren’t deep enough with top talent to forge individual weight classes in the UFC. He’s changed his mind, to a degree, but it appears that this is still very much a work in progress.

He seems to think there is enough talent in Rousey’s 135-pound class to see if it is sustainable, but White isn’t sure beyond the next couple of years.

“I think the 135-pound division that Ronda is in and is the champion of, there’s four or five good fights for her over the next year, year and a half,” remarked White.

“I think you’ll see a lot more women coming up through that 135-pound division… or they won’t. It’s deep enough to get through a couple years and then we’ll see what happens.

“I’m gonna give this thing a shot. We’re gonna try it.”

White is obviously seizing the moment to capitalize on Rousey’s star power, which currently appears to be boundless, as she’s made inroads into the mainstream that has eluded other women fighters. But he’s also using Rousey’s time in the spotlight to give women’s MMA the opportunity to show that there is enough talent to establish itself as a staple in the Octagon.

“I think Ronda Rousey is gonna be a huge star,” White continued. “I think she’s incredibly talented. She’s mean and nasty. She’s a real fighter. So we’ll see how this thing plays out and see how strong women’s MMA really is.”

Stay tuned to for all the latest UFC news and updates.

  • Drew Kanter

    She is one lose away from not being relevant anymore. Just look at Gina Cararo.

    She was the face of women’s MMA for a minute, and after she lost to Cyborg we haven’t heard from her again.

    • Mr. Pink

      well Carano did the smart thing and took her sexy ass to hollywood to make shitty movies.

      • Kris-tyahn

        It wasn’t about making “shitty” movie, it was about the millions of dollars she makes per movie, for her sexy ass. Also, she doesn’t need to work her sexy ass off to get little pay and have ugly women hitting that beautiful face. Basically she does less and gets paid a hell of a lot more for it, and she still gets to look fing sexy doing it.

  • john

    whats sad is Dw wants cyborg to make a weight shes never made and that her doctors say is unsafe. that kind of pressure is unfair. and he goes public and talks shit on her. i know shes been busted on roids but still….

    • mich101

      What’s sad is you make an argument and then say “I know she’s been busted for roids, but still” and make yourself look like a moron. unfortunately that “but still” matters. maybe if she wasn’t on roids for who knows how long, maybe she could make the weight.

    • mich101

      Clearly health isn’t an issue for her if she’s using peds

    • mich101

      Why should rousey move up to fight someone who can’t make her weight cause she’s a roid head

  • With Rhondas personality and talent she can be a big draw every fight. The UFC is good at marketing there fighters so any up and coming women at 135 will get a lot of publicity. The exposure they get makes them well known which is very much needed for the womens division.

    • Mark McDowall

      I agree with everything you say. Except the fact that she’s under a fighter contract…if they want to use her as a promotional tool then so be it. But how can 1 person be an entire division.

      Its public knowledge that Dana has a hard on for Rousey…I think he was thinking with the wrong part of his anatomy on this one. Its all you seem to hear from the UFC outside of GSP/Silva. And unless she gets some CREDIBLE opponents it will be nothing more than a circus act IMO.

      I take nothing away from Rousey at all. She is an incredible talent, and is very easy to market. But before she was on the scene Dana was always saying that there is no place for WMMA in the UFC. Now he’s got a womens division in the UFC…with 1 fighter!!!! When Cyborg was the womens divison in StrikeForce she was getting random women that they found to fight her, and it got boring real quick watching her destroy every opponent. What the UFC needs to do is partner with/buy Invicta so there actually is a womens division. Make it a separate entity. And put big fights on the UFC PPV’s.

      The REAL elephant in the room is FOX…you really think they will allow WMMA on their events? I read somewhere earlier this week that they are very uneasy about the decision of a women’s division.

      • I guess we’ll see what happens; it’s going to be very interesting to see what happens with the womens division in this sport. Yes it’s growing but very slowly. You never know they may test of the womens division and decide its just not working and put an end to it. That would be horrible. I’m sure it will grow though. I can see a lot of women getting into the sport, and watching other females kick ass and become inspired.

  • ufc insider

    One women cannot make a division work.

    Unless you call it the Ronda Rousey division, and have a different opponent fight her every time until she looses. It will be a championship bout every time, with the contender fighting the champion.

    The other option is to have a women TUF, such a show will bring in fans, money and could make stars of now unknown women mma fighters.

  • julian moran

    With so little talent, women’s mma should be an open weight competition.

  • jake

    I don’t take anything away from Ronda Rousey but this whole situation with her and Cyborg is a joke. From day one she has been smack talking Cyborg. and now when it’s time for what would be a huge fight, she is making an unreasonable request. This has nothing to do with steroids. Before she won the title Rousey fought at 145 so why the big deal about not wanting to fight Cyborg at that weight? If it were Gina Corano, would anyone be expecting her to fight Rousey at 145? No because they know Gina couldn’t make 145, so why expect Cyborg too?

    The PED is just being used as an excuse. to build hype. Just like Mayweather & Pacman. PEDs apparently are a problem in MMA especially given the number of fighters testing positive lately, but to single out Cyborg is just BS. From the fights it doesn’t look like Cyborg needed them so it’s strange that she used them. The problem with most of Cyborg’s fights Carano aside is that lack of talent. I think Rousey has a good chance of beating Cyborg even at 145 because she has skills that other female fighters don’t. But the problem is given the hype around Rousey they can’t have her getting beat like Gina did. This fight not happening is bad for the division who else is Rousey going to fight that is interesting or even remotely looks competitive? I’d really like to see Rousey put the BS on the shelf and make this fight happen at a reasonable weight. Is she doesn’t I’m sorry it seems more like she is ducking Cyborg instead of the other way around